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Planetary Codex: Sorik'Va

This world has a long and complicated history. The being that became Sorik'Va was originally a Great Old One named Sorkin'Roth, the final villain for a Pathfinder campaign that never came to fruition. Sorkin'Roth then became one of the main evil deities for a home-brew setting that, once again, was never finished. The deity's design was eventually re-used for a RWBY fan fiction, which was where I got both the idea of the creature being petrified yet still not entirely dead and the Child of Sorik'Va concept, and finally with the new name of Sorik'Va I came to this version.

 

SORIK’VA

Petrified Corpse of an Ancient Evil

Diameter: 1/5 Mass: 1/20

Gravity: Low

Location: Wandering

Atmosphere: Thin

Day: Variable Year: Variable


Scholars have long debated the nature of the entity known as Sorik’Va. Though theories have ranged from an immensely powerful Great Old One to a primordial spawn of Rovagug, there remain precious few accounts of the creature from when it still lived. What records do survive tell of a titanic monstrosity resembling a strange mix of octopus, mantis shrimp, and carnivorous dinosaur large enough to bring ruin to entire worlds.

Thankfully for the modern inhabitants of the galaxy, Sorik’Va is long dead. Like most details about it, the exact cause of this death is unknown, though most agree that it took place during the gap and was likely the result of divine intervention. Whatever felled Sorik’Va, however, did not destroy it utterly. Instead, through some immensely powerful magic, its corpse was turned to stone. Over the ensuing centuries, erosion by solar winds and the enormous creature’s own personal atmosphere have weathered this carcass down into a roughly spherical shape, becoming what might generously be called a world of its own.

Sorik’Va does not orbit a particular star. Instead, driven by the shattered remnants of its alien mind, it cruises the cosmos, settling into orbit in a system for a few years until it suddenly breaks from its path and sails into the void, inevitably reappearing in around another star within the next decade.

Despite this bizarre and inhospitable trajectory, life still exists on Sorik’Va. Heat generated by the planet’s still beating heart is the driving force of its ecosystem, supporting a wide range of strange lifeforms descended from interstellar parasites that infested it in life. Most notable of these species are the ilikthar, a sentient race of insectoids which build towering stilt-cities to keep away from the geothermal activity which constantly reshapes Sorik’Va’s surface with geysers and volcanoes.

Though desolate, Sorik’Va is not without its value to corporations brave enough to set up enterprises on its surface. Geothermal power plants dot the northern hemisphere, and new varieties of magma blades are forged and tested in remote research labs. But the most valuable - and dangerous - of Sorik’Va’s resources is the elusive substance called leviathan steel, an alloy made from metal mined from veins that once carried the beast’s blood. Incredibly durable and malleable, this metal can reshape itself in response to psychic input. However, rumors continue to spread of the metal reforming itself all on its own, as if answering the call of some other voice. Though the companies who mine it steadfastly deny these claims, many have begun to speculate that Sorik’Va’s mind is not quite dead, and may still be able to direct and control these severed pieces of its body.

 

Longspire

CG stilt city

Population 32,450 (70% ilikthar, 12% shirren, 8% human, 10% other)

Government assembly

Qualities technologically average

Maximum Item Level 12th


The largest of Sorik’Va’s stilt cities, Longspire consists of dozens of ilikthar colonies, all of whom serve specialized roles but have equal voice in the city’s governance through Speakers which relay the decisions of their individual assemblies. While to an uninformed outsider these colonies appear to comprise a rigid caste system, ilikthar are frequently allowed to move from one colony to another in defiance of the generally family-centered colony model employed by most other stilt cities.

The most well-known colonies to outsiders are Colony Filak, who act as merchants and artisans, and Colony Haillivan, who manage the entry of off-worlders through the city’s spaceport. Colony Farthen, the youngest colony in the city, has also recently rose to great prominence, as they represent the priests and other religious groups of Longspire. Colony Farthen’s Speaker, Jillat Farthen (LG female ilikthar Mystic), has won support from the other colonies through her tireless devotion to the elimination of Attendant cells within the city, and her eloquent speeches have helped convert many of the city’s inhabitants to the faith of Hylax.

Alongside its ilikthar inhabitants, Longspire is home to the largest number of off-worlders of any of the stilt cities due to its thriving spaceport. Nearly all traffic in and out of Sorik’Va goes through Longspire, which has brought both prosperity and danger to the city, as with interplanetary trade has also come interplanetary crime. Agents of the Aspis Consortium, Golden League, and other criminal factions have found Longspire to be a perfect place to hold meetings and plan illicit operations, as the lack of formal laws means that the safety officers of Colony Oltan do not heed arrest warrants from other worlds. Even a few less scrupulous ilikthar have taken to organized crime, most infamously the assassin Millax Vekal (NE male ilikthar Operative), whose deadly efficiency makes his services in high demand amongst criminal groups both locally and off-world.

Not all off-world influences in Longspire are nefarious, however. As the ilikthar are informally considered allies of the Pact Worlds, in 312 AG the Pact Council voted to send an ambassador to oversee Pact Worlds interests on Sorik’Va. The candidate chosen, Ambassador Finnetash (CG female adult copper dragon), is undoubtedly eccentric, but her mercurial attitude and unique viewpoint have served her well in integrating with the local government, and her advice is highly valued by the Longspire assemblies. Some members of the Pact Council, however, worry that the ambassador has gotten a bit too accustomed to life in Longspire, and quite forgotten that it is the Pact Worlds, not the ilikthar, that she is meant to be serving.

 

Child of Sorik’Va

Child of Sorik’Va CR 11

XP 12,800

CN Medium humanoid (human)

Init +5; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision

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DEFENSE

EAC 24 KAC 26

hp 180 Resolve 5

Fort +13, Ref +13, Will +12

Immune fire

Defensive Abilities regeneration 10 (cold)

Weaknesses berserk, sickly, slowed by cold

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OFFENSE

Speed 30 ft., climb 30 ft.

Melee bite +23 (2d12+19 S; crit. wound)

Multiattack bite +17 (2d12+14 S; crit. wound), 2 tentacle blades +17 (2d8+19 S; crit. bleed 2d4)

Ranged integrated light stellar cannon +20 (2d12+11 P; blast 30 ft.; crit. wound)

Space 5 ft. Reach 15 ft.

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STATISTICS

Str +8, Dex +5, Con -1, Int -1, Wis +3, Cha -2

Feats Mobility

Skills Athletics +20, Intimidate +25

Languages Aklo, Common

Other Abilities ravenous

Gear kasatha microcord IV

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ECOLODY

Environment any

Organization solitary

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SPECIAL ABILITIES

Berserk (Su) When a child of Sorik’Va enters combat, and the first time she takes damage from a particular significant enemy in one day, she must make a DC 21 Will save or go berserk, losing control of her body and succumbing to the influence of Sorik’Va. A berserk child of Sorik’Va’s alignment shifts temporarily to Chaotic Evil, and she is treated as confused, except that a result of 26-50% results in her attacking the nearest hostile creature, and a result of 51-75% results in her attacking the nearest creature as if she had rolled 76-100%. She drops out her her berserk state once she can no longer sense any hostile creatures for one round.

Integrated Light Stellar Cannon (Ex) A child of Sorik’Va’s light stellar cannon is integrated into one of her mechanical tentacles, and uses ammunition recycled from consumed matter. The stellar cannon is considered to begin each day with a full clip, and can be reloaded by spending a Resolve Point as a move action.

Ravenous (Su) A child of Sorik’Va must eat eight times as much as a normal member of her race.

Sickly (Ex) A child of Sorik’Va’s immune system is compromised by the invasive organism living inside of her, and takes a -4 penalty to Fortitude saves against disease and poison.

Slowed by Cold (Su) If a child of Sorik’Va takes cold damage equal to one and a half times her CR, rounded down, she must make a DC 21 Fortitude save or she is slowed (as the slow spell) for a number of rounds equal the item level of the weapon that dealt the damage, or the caster’s caster level if the source is a spell.


The precious leviathan steel mined from the veins of Sorik’Va is treasured for its adaptability and versatility, but it comes with its own unique dangers. One of the most infamous of these side effects is what happens when the alien metal is used to create cybernetic augmentations: the creation of the tortured creatures known as the children of Sorik’Va.

The creation of the first child of Sorik’Va was well-intentioned. On behalf of the Stewards, a shirren roboticist named Insichikaitik and a small team of researchers were tasked with crafting a prosthetic that could interface with the user’s brain psychically as well as physically, increasing reaction times and allowing the limb to reshape itself according to the user’s desire. The volunteer who signed up for testing, a lashunta named Lirinoss, had lost both his arms in the line of duty. While the initial tests were a stunning success, as time went on Lirinoss started to experience dreadful nightmares, wracking hunger pangs, and violent impulses. Then, one morning, he awoke to find that the cybernetic arms had vanished… and his old arms had regrown in their place. What initially seemed a miracle quickly revealed itself to be a curse, as tests revealed that the metal had not left Lirinoss’s body, but spread itself throughout his circulatory system like a parasitic organism, sucking the energy from its cells in order to power itself. When Insichikaitik attempted to remove the metal, Lirinoss reacted violently, as bladed robotic tentacles ripped free of his flesh and began tearing the research team apart. Insichikaitik only survived by a stroke of luck, as he was able to freeze Lirinoss in a cryogenic chamber. Unfortunately, the lashunta did not survive the freezing process.

While most researchers have understandably avoided recreating Insichikaitik’s experiment, some unscrupulous groups have begun attempting to manufacture children of Sorik’Va as living weapons. While most of these attempts have ended in disaster, rumors persist of Azlanti and drow research teams which have succeeded in maintaining some control over their creations.

Children of Sorik’Va resemble sickly members of their original race, save for their eyes, which are drained of all color. In addition, keen observers may spot tendrils occasionally shifting underneath their skin. These metal tentacles tear out from the child’s flesh during combat, shifting to form wickedly curved blades and strange weapons. As this happens the child’s maw extends and grows jagged teeth and their eyes turn completely black, each with six glowing white pupils. Disturbingly, these strongly resemble ancient descriptions of the eyes of Sorik’Va itself, and some believe that the monstrosity is attempting to reincarnate itself through these unfortunate hosts. Such hypotheses have caused some groups of ilikthar Attendants to transform themselves into children of Sorik’Va in the hopes of becoming the vessel of their god’s resurrection, a prospect which understandably alarms the ilikthar colonies.

Child of Sorik’Va Template Graft (CR 8+)

Required Creature Type: Animal, Dragon, Humanoid, Magical Beast, Monstrous Humanoid or Outsider (native).

Traits: Darkvision 60 ft.; low-light vision; immunity to fire; regeneration (cold) 5 (CR 10+; increase to regeneration [cold] 10, regeneration [cold] 15 at CR 15, regeneration [cold] 20 at CR 20); berserk (see above); sickly (see above); slowed by cold (see above); climb speed equal to base speed; bite attack with either wound critical effect or swallow whole; multiattack (bite, 2 tentacle blades), ravenous (see above)

Special: A child of Sorik’Va with the fire subtype loses the slowed by cold and ravenous special qualities, as the leviathan steel is able to feed off of the host’s internal heat.

 

Ilikthar

Ilikthar CR 2

XP 600

NG Medium aberration

Init +4; Senses blindsense 30 ft (vibration), darkvision 60 ft.

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DEFENSE

EAC 13 KAC 14

hp 23

Fort +1, Ref +1, Will +5

Resist fire 5

Defensive Abilities evasion, stilt walker

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OFFENSE

Speed 30 ft., climb 10 ft.

Melee survival knife +8 (1d4+3 S)

or claw +8 (1d3+3 P)

Ranged vapor cavitation pistol +8 (1d6+2 E&F)

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STATISTICS

Str +1, Dex +4, Con -1, Int +0, Wis +2, Cha +0

Skills Acrobatics +12, Athletics +7, Medicine +12, Stealth +7

Languages Aklo

SQ blood-drinker

Gear 2 batteries, freebooter armor I, vapor cavitation pistol (20 charges)

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ECOLOGY

Environment hot deserts and mountains (Sorik’Va)

Organization solitary, pair, band (3-10), or colony (100-400)

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SPECIAL ABILITIES

Blood-Drinker (Ex) Ilikthar subsist solely on blood, and cannot digest other substances. The cost of food suited for an ilikthar is increased by 10% (minimum 1 credit).

Stilt Walker (Ex) Due to the elongated digits that hold her above the ground, an ilikthar has a +4 bonus on Reflex saves to avoid ground-based hazards. In addition, an ilikthar is unaffected by rocky difficult terrain.


The primary sentient species on Sorik’Va, the monstrous appearance and sinister homeworld of the ilikthar belies their surprising civility and hospitality. Descended from a species of blood-drinking space vermin, the ilikthar were mutated by their exposure to the ichors of Sorik’Va, transforming them into spindly insectile humanoids with elongated fifth digits which hold them aloft like stilts.

Ilikthar society revolves around generosity, as their primary food source, the blood of Sorik’Va’s local fauna, is so poor in nutrition that missing a meal can mean starvation unless a fellow ilikthar can deliver enough blood to keep them alive. While this problem has largely been solved in recent years by the importing of livestock from other worlds, the importance of selflessness is still central to the ilikthar’s worldview. Despite some popular negative stereotypes, even evil ilikthar find the drinking of the blood of sentient creatures to be an abomination.

Ilikthar society is largely communal, with most settlements consisting of large extended family groups. Their naturally helpful instincts allow for a mostly anarchist system of government, with important issues debated in large democratic meetings consisting of the entirety of a settlement’s adult population. While this system may seem inefficient to outsiders, the ilikthar have a difficult time understanding any other form of government.

There are, however, rare pockets of ilikthar who are not so benign. These Attendants, as they call themselves, scour the surface of Sorik’Va in search of a way to reawaken the dead monstrosity from its eternal slumber, believing that they will be rewarded for their efforts. While the ilikthar colonies decry these individuals as terrorists and renegades, their loose system of government means that they rarely end up taking action against them.

Though traditional ilikthar religion focuses more on worshipping against Sorik’Va rather than serving any deity, in recent years the faith of Hylax, introduced by shirren missionaries, has spread quickly through their society. A few more rebellious and individualistic ilikthar have taken to the worship of Besmara, but these renegades are more likely to be found off-planet on pirate crews and other wandering vessels.

An ilikthar stands 8 ft. tall and weighs 120 pounds. Their exoskeletons range in color from rust red to dark brown depending on the “season”, darkening as the time to molt approaches.


Racial Traits

Ability Adjustments: +2 Dex, +2 Wis, -2 Con

Blood Drinker: See above.

Ilikthar Senses: An ilikthar has blindsense 30 ft. (vibration), and darkvision 60 ft.

Natural Weapons: Ilikthar have natural weapons that function like those of vesk (Starfinder Core Rulebook pg. 52), except the ilikthar’s natural weapons deal piercing damage.

Stilt Walker: See above.


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